Exclusive! Abu Aleeha’s ‘Daadal’ Explores The Lyari Underworld Through A Female Boxer’s Perspective

Daadal Cover

Director Abu Aleeha is known for his radically unique approach to filmmaking and storytelling. His upcoming film Daadal lives true to the tag and is a gangster crime thriller that depicts the heinous underworld of Lyari.

The filmmaker’s exposes different genres like horror, suspense and action to the audience and focuses on the story of a female boxer Haya Baloch who becomes a contract killer to avenge her sisters’ honor.

The film releases in theatres on Eid-ul-Fitr, and features Sonya Hussyn as the lead protagonist along with Mohsin Abbas Haider, Shamoon Abbasi, Maira Khan and Adnan Shah Tipu.

The Idea Behind Daadal

About what inspired him and why he thought that this story needs to be told, “I came across Kamal Khan’s ‘Lal Kabootar’ and realized that the depiction of Karachi’s underworld specifically (Lalukhet) and Lyari) isn’t that bugarish or mummy daddy type as shown in the film.” Aleeha told Galaxy Lollywood. “My research on the underworld of Karachi has been extensive and elaborate. I have always felt that it is a lot more horrifying, brutal, complicated and organized as compared to the underworld of Mumbai.”  

Elaborating on the same, Aleeha added, “I started to research more about the gang war history of Lyari and discovered that it was Rehman dakait’s father Daadal Baloch who started the trend of gang war, organized crime, rackets and extortion in Lyari.”

Keeping this character in mind, the film creates a metaphor of crime, mafias and gangsters what Aleeha calls “Daadal”. “The film is my interpretation of the underworld of Lyari through the eyes of a female boxer.”  

Why Sonya Hussyn?

Aleeha did not doubt who would play the protagonist. Not many are aware that Aleeha has directed Hussyn in one of his unreleased film ‘Lockdown’. The film halted due to production issues also stars Gohar Rasheed. “Sonya’s potential is truly exemplary. The moment she signs a project, she is fully available for the proceedings. She goes all out to support an out-of-the-box idea. I felt that she was the right choice to play the part.”

Apart from the intense physical training, workshops and rehearsals, it was a tough task for Hussyn to get her accent right. “There are three types of the accent being used in Lyari, kachi Memon, Baloch and the makrani accent. We mixed kachi Memon and Baloch and created a unique accent of our own. Sonya wore a hijab and visited the local bazaars of Lyari to observe women to build her character traits.” he revealed.   

Aleeha’s Take on Box Office Prospects

Aleeha, feels today everything is about making box office records on social media, “Everyone is aware of the fake box office figures circulating on social media claiming their film to be a success.”    

According to the filmmaker he is struggling to make a place in the industry. “The so-called film industry of Pakistan is actually a cinema industry. The former operates with six prominent filmmakers releasing three films each on major festive occasions.”

Aleeha believes that the film industry of Pakistan would fully operate when a film would release every Friday irrespective of the budget and genre. “Instead of a five-crore film, the need of the hour is to make five films with a budget of crore each, he said. “To flourish cinema, everyone should cut down their remuneration. The casting should be done on merit instead of the basis of Instagram followers.”

He further explains how he is the only filmmaker in Pakistan who has in-depth knowledge about the box office prospects of his films. “My cinema is offbeat and the lowest of the budget. Irrespective of their box office performance, my films recover their cost from OTT, digital, satellite and international releases. For instance, my last film Javed Iqbal was banned in Pakistan, but released in eight cities in the UK. Due to its low budget, it recovered its cost.”

For the unversed, Javed Iqbal is re-submitted to the censor board with a new title and cuts. If it gets a theatrical release in Pakistan, “the entire earnings will go in the producer’s pocket.” Similarly, his upcoming film Super Punjabi which is slated to release on May 12 has “already recovered its cost.” disclosed Aleeha.

Abu Aleeha has lived up to his true raw self in Daadal and is confident about the box office prospects of the film. Daadal will face a stiff challenge from Money Back Guarantee and Huey Tum Ajnabi among others this Eid. It is to be seen which film comes out on top and appeases critics and viewers alike. We at Galaxy Lollywood wish Abu Aleeha and team Daadal the best of luck!


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